What are Some Home Remedies for an Earache?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: K. Pike
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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There are about as many home remedies for an earache as there are people who get them. Some remedies may be more or less effective, and it can take a bit of time to find one that works for you. The worst part is that pain from an earache often intensifies at night. Since most earaches are not serious enough to warrant emergency care, you may be able us a home remedy during the night until you can see a doctor.The Mayo Clinic, considered one of the foremost experts on medical care, suggests that you treat earaches with warm compresses on the ear. Other advice that may help includes taking an over the counter pain reliever like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

By giving some pain relief with a warm compress while providing some comfort with an analgesic, you may have a peaceful night’s sleep. If you’re really having trouble sleeping, consider taking an antihistamine like diphenhydramine, which may help you sleep through the worst part of an earache. Warmth seems to work best in helping to relieve pain from earaches. There are a variety of ideas on how to get warmth to the ear. Some people recommend putting oil, warmed to body temperature, in the ear. This is a method you should check out with your doctor first, since it may be possible to transfer infection to the ear with this method.


Another common suggestion is to use a blow dryer on the affected ear. If you’re going to try the blow dryer method, be sure the dryer is on the warm,not hot, setting. The blow dryer should be positioned at least 18 inches (45.72 cm) from the ear. Many parents swear that this works the best for crying babies who have an earache. You need to be careful that the dryer is far enough away and not on a setting that could cause the skin to overheat.

Other suggestions for earache treatment include sitting up. This can help by balancing extra fluids and reducing swelling of the Eustachian tubes. Try sitting up for at least five minutes, or keep a baby in a propped up position for this time. Yawning or chewing gum (for kids or adults) may also provide pain relief. It’s important to see the doctor the next day if an earache has kept you up at night. Though many earaches do not require treatment, some are infections that need antibiotic treatment. Earaches may also occur when you have sinus infections or things like bronchitis and pneumonia. To be safe, a physician should assess ear pain so proper treatment is ensured.


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Post 2

I have four boys, age 10-22, and none of them have ever had an earache. All of them slept on their stomach, or face down, when they were babies. I also have six siblings with the same results. There were a few, but they were all attributed to swimming. I was told once the the eustachian tube forms differently if a newborn sleeps on the stomach because it drains more efficiently. Anyway, it seems to work.

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